Braves signs Matt Olson to an eight-year contract

Braves signed the first newly acquired baseman Matt Olson The team announced today an eight-year, $168 million contract that runs through the 2029 season. Atlanta also has a $20 million club option for the ninth season. Olson represented by Jet Sports.

Atlanta, one of the few organizations to publicly disclose contract terms, has announced that Olson will earn $15 million next season and $21 million in 2023 before paying an annual rate of $22 million in the last six seasons of the contract. Olson also donated $1.68 million to the Atlanta Braves Foundation as part of the deal. It’s the third largest contract signed by a player between four and five years of MLB service, just ahead joy photo And the Giancarlo Stanton.

Anthopoulos and his front office wasted little time in establishing that Olson and with him Ronald Akuna Jr. And the Ozzy AlbisIt is now one of the building blocks for a team that hopes to build on last year’s World Series Championship. “Now he’s part of that core,” the chief of baseball operations told reporters, adding that he and his agent B.B. Abbott “worked all day and all night” on the extension once the Olson takeover deal was finalized (Video link via Bally Sports). The secured portion of Olson’s contract even expands beyond Acuna’s, although Braves holds club options in Acuna for the 2027 and 2028 seasons. Alpes’ contract runs until at least 2025 and holds club options for the 2026 and 2027 seasons.

was Olson expected by MLBTR contributor Matt Schwartz, to earn $12 million next season, and was owed one final lift in arbitration in 2023 before it was ready to hit the open market. He would forgo six free agent seasons on the potential deal, and likely secure somewhere in the $138 million or so range for those six free agent seasons. The new contract surpasses that of Olson’s predecessor, Freddy Freemanfor the largest decade in franchise history.

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Olson’s $168 million guarantee exceeds Braves’ reported $140 million offer to Freeman, although it is significant to Braves and ownership in Liberty Media that Olson turns 27 (28 later this year). the month). Freeman is 32, and he was 38 by the time his six-year deal — his stated asking price — ended. Meanwhile, Olson has now been signed during his 35-year season. That age discrepancy, and a considerably lighter annual value on the Olson deal, was certainly a driver in the Braves’ comfort level while making a commitment of this magnitude to Olson but it’s clear he won’t last for six years at Freeman.

While Olson and Freeman will now be closely related for the foreseeable future, Olson made it clear yesterday that he has no intention of comparing himself to Freeman, whom he called a “player hell” (Twitter link, video, from Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle). “I’m just going to go out there and do what Matt Olson does,” he added.

This is good news for Braves fans, as there is very little that Olson does not do well. The slow-swinging player made 39 home runs in his career in 2021 and took home his second Gold Glove in first base which is unlikely to be his last. Olson was prone to strike earlier in his career, but he trimmed his strike rate by more than 10 percentage points last season, ending the year 16.8% — not much higher than his flashy walk rate of 13.1%. Since opening day 2019, 89 Olson home operations have been linked Nelson Cruz 3rd in MLB, only late Alonso’s house (106) and Eugenio Suarez (95).

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With Olson now signed, Braves’ payroll jumps to an expected $156 million next season – the highest total in franchise history. They already have about $84 million on books in 2023, and through 2026, they’ll have at least $43 million on the season).

A year ago, a change of guard at first base like this felt out of the question for Braves fans — and for many, that may still be the case. The Olson extension adds more finishing touches to the end of Freddie Freeman’s era in Atlanta, and as the Braves look toward starting a new chapter in franchise history, they will with Atlanta-born Olson running first base and establishing the heart of the system alongside Acuna and the Albies.

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